The Department of Health Research (DHR) has started the process for the establishment of the Medical Technology Assessment Board (MTAB) which will carry out the review of different medical technologies including instrumentation on a continued basis in the country.
According to sources, a meeting of the Advisory Group for setting up of MTAB under DHR was held on December 15, 2015 under the chairmanship of Dr. V. M. Katoch, former secretary, DHR and director general, ICMR at DHR office in New Delhi. But, further details about the meeting were not available.
The MTAB aims to encourage the process and finalise the development of standardized cost effective interventions that will reduce the cost and variations in patient care, expenditure on medical equipment indirectly affecting the cost of patient care, overall cost of medical treatment, reduction in out of pocket expenditure of patients and streamline the medical reimbursement procedures.
The Board will carry out the review of different medical technologies including instrumentation on a continued basis in the country. At present, introduction of different technologies including instrumentation is not based on sound analysis by independent and neutral experts in the country. It is often based on recommendations and suggestions of end users who may not be well versed on the comparative usefulness of different technologies and equipments. This results in incurring unjustified expenditure without adequate proof of advancement and is also harmful to the growth of industry aimed at production of affordable tools.
The need to establish such a board was discussed and recommended by 12th Plan Working Group on Health Research. Considering the recommendations, the government recognized the urgent requirement of Medical Technology Board in India and therefore, has decided to set up MTAB for evaluation and appropriateness and cost effectiveness of the available and new health technologies in the country.
The MTAB will be a part of the overall regulatory, promotional structure being established in the DHR to accelerate indigenous production of health products, instruments or medical devices that are vital for providing cost effective healthcare.